I work in a hospital lab with lots of chemistry and hematology analyzers, all of which make quite a bit of noise. We have a “track system” bringing specimens from analyzer to analyzer, and it makes noise. When something messes up, the track has alarms that go off until someone can get to the problem spot and fix it. There’s a shuttle system from the ER that dumps STAT specimens into this window, and it also has a high-pitched alarm that goes off every time a shuttle arrives (like the huge ker-thump isn’t enough). There’s a constant hum of machinery, with high-pitched alarms thrown in pretty often.
Working in all that noise, I feel like my hearing is starting to be affected a little. I’m finding myself asking people to repeat themselves, and needing the TV a little louder. My tinnitus, which I’ve always had to a low degree since childhood, is more noticeable to me now when I’m trying to sleep. Others at work are saying the same thing - their hearing feels like it’s off.
So, besides going for a hearing test, which I’ll probably be doing soon, what are my options? Who do I talk to about the noise problem? Is this an OSHA thing? I"m new-ish to the country and I’m still not entirely sure who deals with what workplace issues, but I think this sounds like an OSHA thing. Should I bring it to the boss first? To employee health and safety? I don’t want to be the employee who goes running to the authorities or anything, but I"m a little concerned.